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Steven Weinberg (1933–2021), Nobel Prize-winning physicist

by Linnea Crowther

Steven Weinberg was a theoretical physicist who won the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work with elementary particles.

Unlocking the mysteries of the universe

Weinberg’s Nobel Prize was awarded for his work in studying the tiny particles that make up all matter. He shared the prize with Abdus Salam and Sheldon Glashow, though the three scientists worked separately. His work expanded the work Albert Einstein (1879–1955) did to develop a “theory of everything.” Among Weinberg’s discoveries was the existence of W and Z boson particles. He was known for his ability to explain complex theories of physics in an understandable way, and his 1977 popular science book, “The First Three Minutes: A Modern View of the Origin of the Universe,” was widely read. Weinberg was considered by many to be the greatest living theoretical physicist.

Notable quote

“The more that the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless.” —from “The First Three Minutes”

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Tributes to Steven Weinberg

Full obituary: The New York Times

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